Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Author of the month (March)
Author of the month for March is Thomas Hardy. As part of my bookshop browsing in NZ I was fortunate to turn up some excellent secondhand books that I'd never think to search for through Amazon. The Mayor of Casterbridge was one of those. I'd not read any Hardy since university days, when Tess of the D'Urbervilles made an appearance on my side table (or what passed for a side table in student flats), so I was curious to see what my reaction would be.
I'm thoroughly enjoying the book. After many years of reading Classical history in my spare time, interspersed with the odd historical or modern novel, it is wonderful to read something that has been structured so surely. I love seeing well-implemented literary devices at work: irony, foreshadowing, contrast, well-worked metaphor, litote and dialect are just some of the ones to be found in Hardy. I'd forgotten how rewarding 19th Century novels are, and I'm actually more at ease with this traditional style of novel than with the more modern forms.
To close, thank you Mr. Hardy, and thank you to the secondhand booksellers of Christchurch!